This Day in Minnesota History

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Today's Date: July 17

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Cree and Ojibwe leaders in the Red River valley make a treaty with Lord Thomas Douglas Selkirk, who hopes to re-establish his colony of Scottish immigrants.


Congress passes an act to settle disputes about the so-called "Half-Breed" Tract, a reservation for mixed-race Indigenous-European people in Wabasha and Goodhue counties. Land titles had been confused; with many white settler-colonists migrating to the area, unaware that it was a legal reservation, some of the recipients of scrip sold the deeds to their parcels of land, although there was no individual ownership of reservation land. After further complications arose with land speculators, the settler-colonists formed vigilante groups to watch the land office and prevent speculators from claiming existing farms. The matter was settled in 1858, with the squatters receiving full rights, as was standard practice on public domain land.